Mongolia

Australia helps vulnerable Mongolian families

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PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
THE HON CHRIS GALLUS MP
AA 03 13 06 Mar 2003 - Australia will contribute a further $100,000 to help vulnerable families in Mongolia who are now suffering the effects of severe winter following prolonged drought.

The contribution will be made through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Appeal, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Chris Gallus, said today.

'The $100,000 will provide wheat flour, clothing and footwear for 115,000 men, women and children,' Mrs Gallus said.

Mrs Gallus said Mongolia had undergone another devastating winter with minimum temperatures plunging as low as minus 45 degree Celsius, and this had increased the hardship caused by the three previous drought/winter cycles.

The summer drought had meant less hay for winter storage, a problem compounded by the early onset of winter, which forced herders to begin using their small hay reserves as early as September.

'Suffering caused by drought is well understood in Australia,' said Mrs Gallus

This latest response to the suffering caused by severe climatic conditions in Mongolia brings contribution by Australia since April 2000 to $550,000.

Contacts:

Alex Knox (Office of Mrs Gallus) 0411 287 257
Jo Elsom (AusAID) (02) 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489